Best Laser for Hair Removal on Skin Type III or IV?

I am thinking to do laser hair removal on my chest and neck but I am not sure which one is the best suitable laser for me, Alexandrite, Diode or other. I am a Portuguese male with Skin Type III or IV and dark hair. Any suggestions?

Doctor Answers 2

Which laser for darker skin?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Excess or unwanted hair in skin types III or IV can be treated safely and effectively with the Gentlelase (which is alexandrite), diode, or NgYag lasers. Because of the different wavelengths of these lasers (755, 810, and 1064nm, respectively), and other design features, there are some differences between them, but what is most important is that you find a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon trained in laser physics and with extensive experience with laser/skin interactions, to oversee your treatments.

The 755nm can treat both fine and coarse hairs and is a little less painful than the lasers with longer wavelength, whose longer beams penetrate more deeply. The 910 and 1064 are great with coarse hairs but not as effective, in my experience or according to the physics of their wavelengths, with fine hairs. The 1064nm is best for very dark skin types (V or VI) such as darker African-American skin types. None can be used in tanned skin. Since you are treating the bearded area, you may like knowing that ingrown hairs are eliminated with these lasers as well.

So, if you have fine as well as coarse hairs, I would go with the Alex. Otherwise, they will all work and the pain issue should not be a major factor especially if topical anesthetics are applied first. As a caveat, thick and coarse hairs that are densely distributed in an area to be treated will absorb more laser energy and the treatments will be a little more uncomfortable, especially with the initial treatments -- but it is always tolerable.  

Find a doctor you trust and go from there!

Lsaer Hair Removal with the 1064nm NdYag for Skin Types III-IV

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

In some situations the Nd Yag 1064 nm laser can work to remove hair for darker skin types. The longer wavelength penetrates deeper and can still ablate the active hair follicles. There are ways to make the other lasers and diodes you mention work for darker skin types as well. It really depends upon the comfort level of your physician and your skin coloration and sun exposure.

Charles Perry, MD
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.